How to Take on More Responsibilities in a Healthy Way

I have always been addicted to being busy. It makes me feel productive and fulfilled when I successfully juggle a full day of classes, two club meetings, meet up with my friends, and still get to bed at a decent hour. Unfortunately, though, it can be overwhelming to have too much on your plate at once. There is a very fine line between “busy and fulfilled” and “overworked and stressed”, and that line is different for everyone. Finding that line is crucial for living a healthy and balanced life.

The first semester of freshman year, I tried to take it slow. I got involved in Her Campus and focused on my classes. I tried not to get too overwhelmed or take on too many responsibilities, and I also needed an adjustment period to transition from high school to college. I am definitely glad I took a semi-breather before diving into clubs and other activities, but when I came back to school for the second semester, I was very ready to get more involved.

There are a few things I did and you can do to ensure that you stay busy, but not stressed. First, treat your time as a valuable resource! Make sure to only get involved in things that make you excited. That means exclusively joining clubs that you are passionate about, not just interested in. While it may be tough to ignore the high school instinct to have as many clubs as possible on your resume, remember that you will get much more out of being highly involved in a few select clubs.

Another thing I tried to do was diversify my clubs! Having too much of the same thing ensures that you will get burnt out or bored. For me, this meant not joining too many clubs related to my major, in order to maintain a separation between my extra-curricular activities and the content of my classes at school. That isn’t to say you should not join a club for your major, just try to have one or two. It is also helpful to have a club that forces you to be active in a way that you enjoy. For me, that was a dance club, since I have been doing it for over a decade and genuinely have fun while getting a workout in. Having a club that allows you to exercise makes it easier to stay healthy and receive the mental and physical benefits of being active. You are also meeting people and getting involved while doing it. This way, you don’t have to budget extra time in your schedule to go to the Fitness and Recreation Center!

Additionally, it is really great to have a club that gives you an opportunity to help the community. I joined the community service sorority on campus, Omega Phi Alpha, to make sure my heart and mind are being challenged and to help me give back in an organized way. There are so many targeted groups on campus for specific forms of community service, so find what makes you eager to lend a hand! 

The most important thing to remember when getting more involved in college is to only take on what you can handle. Try not to compare the number of things you do to the number of things your best friend or the kids in your classes are doing. It’s not a competition, it’s about finding the right personal balance between being busy and being overwhelmed.

Feeling excited about a few diverse clubs will help you achieve that balance. 


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